Insights House of Lords Communications and Digital Select Committee welcomes Competition and Markets Authority’s commitment to tackling digital competition

The Committee has welcomed a commitment by the CMA to take more action on digital competition issues whilst they await further powers. This came in a letter from the Chief Executive Officer of the CMA, Dr Andrea Coscelli, to the Chair of the Committee, Baroness Stowell, which the Committee has published.

In February, the Committee urged the CMA to utilise the powers already at its disposal to tackle anti-competitive practices in digital markets and not wait for new legislation to put the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) on a statutory footing.

On 11 March 2022, the CMA announced it was launching an antitrust investigation into Jedi Blue, the name given to the agreement between Alphabet and Meta on their online display ad business. Baroness Stowell said “We look forward to further enforcement actions from the CMA to rogue practices in the digital markets being announced in the coming months. The CMA should not wait for the legislation that will put the DMU on a statutory footing to use the powers already at its disposal to tackle digital competition issues”.

Baroness Stowell also said that it had “long been acknowledged that the CMA’s existing powers are not adequate for regulating competition in the digital world” and that the establishment of the DMU on a statutory footing was “an urgent necessity and should be a legislative priority for the Government”. Baroness Stowell noted that the EU is making progress in this area and that the UK risks falling behind. She concluded: “I hope recent media reports that the necessary legislation will not be in the next Queen’s Speech are proved to be wrong”. To read the Committee’s news release in full and for a link to the CMA’s letter, click here.